Instructors Devon Hall and Tommy Adeimy are this semester’s winners of the QEP marketing incentive for the Business Technologies Department. Because of their efforts to promote the QEP among their students, they will receive a cash prize awarded by the Foundation.
The Business Technologies Department is the first area of instruction to fully implement the College’s Quality Enhancement Plan Speaking to Convey, Writing to Display. The QEP is a five-year plan designed to improve students’ oral and written communication skills.
Hall said it was not difficult to incorporate RCC’s QEP of improving students’ communication skills into his class. Student presentations have always been among assignments in his classes, but now he is asking his students to be more conscious of their grammar and speech in addition to the context of their presentations.
“I ask them to speak using Standard English and with no grammatical errors,” Hall said. “I ask them to speak with confidence and to maintain eye contact with their audience.”
Written assignments have also been a norm in his class, but again, Hall stresses to his students to write using Standard English and proper grammar.
Hall also conducted mock interviews for his students to help them improve their oral skills when interviewing for a job. Students found the mock interview project helpful because it demonstrated to them how speaking properly will benefit them.
Maggie McKenzie, a Healthcare Management Technology student, said the oral assignments are beneficial to students because they become more aware of problems in their speech. The presentations also allow them to become more comfortable talking in front of others.
Adeimy incorporated QEP initiatives into his computer technologies classes by making the final exam a video project reflecting the technical knowledge and skills they have learned during the semester. The assignment was to pick a topic related to a computer upgrade, repair, or hardware or software support and create a YouTube video or narrated PowerPoint Presentation that demonstrates how to accomplish the task. Not only were students graded on their technical abilities, but they were also graded on additional criteria such as 1) the ability to communicate technical issues; 2) pronunciation, enunciation, audibility, and clarity; and 3) vocabulary and use of appropriate words.
“Explaining something is not always easy, and in this line of work you have to have good communication skills because you are providing customer service in addition to technical support,” Adeimy said.
Computer Engineering Technology student Jarred Williams found the final exam project more enjoyable than a multiple choice or true/false test.
“It was something different for a change,” Williams said.
Computer Engineering Technology student Ricardo Versiani also enjoyed the project and finished it ahead of schedule. He said he rehearsed what he was going to say many times for his video and was very selective in the words he used.
Computer Information Technology student Deborah Jordan received help at the Oral and Written Communication Center (OWCC) while working on her final exam project.
“I was fine with the speaking part. I needed help learning how to upload a video to YouTube,” Jordan said. “Charles Dickerson at the center was incredibly helpful and the overall experience was great. I’d encourage others to use the center for help on assignments.”
Although some students who have multiple business or computer technology classes said the QEP seemed to increase the number of oral and written projects for them this semester, they recognize the benefits associated with acquiring effective communication skills.
We applaud these two instructors for their efforts to improve student learning outcomes by embracing the QEP and incorporating it into their classrooms.